… following our workshop held with Val Hughes on the 4th July. Six lovely ladies joined myself, Val, Thanos, Sultan, Sovereign and Little Raz for a Tuesday which was probably spent like no other… The rather refreshing rain didn’t distract from the beautiful views and enthusiasm to have a great time!
We set off for our gentle stroll with the alpacas, in the rain… much of the walk was spent in the rain… (reminder to self: get some ’emergency socks’ for future trekkers!). I’m not gonna lie, I was doubtful whether the alpacas would like walking in the rain but they didn’t seem to mind at all! This weather certainly did throw me in the deep end for my first event/workshop! Half five in the morning I was up and doing putting the marquee up, which we didn’t end up using but that was fine; it was much cosier and drier indoors (there’s always a ‘Plan B’!) – with easy access to the kettle. Thankfully it wasn’t too windy with it – I think if it was then we might just have to have gone on a hunt to find four dogs for us to walk instead, ‘cos these four alpacas wouldn’t have been very happy bunnies!
So down the hill we trotted, into the valley below, only for the realisation to hit – what goes down must come back up again! It was fine, these ladies had their serious walking legs on, and after having just a little bit of a breather and a brief history lesson from pops, we led the boys back up the hill. They all most certainly earned their brews upon getting back indoors!
A little bit of lunch was provided (catering for the gluten-free, vegetarians and ‘eat anythings’ of the group) and I then left it up to Val to lead the way in this great felting workshop! You should see the creations, all made from my alpacas’ fleeces (you can see the creations – I will bob some pictures below…) – proper good!
In a nutshell, this is how it went:
- To start off, the alpaca fleece was carded (with dog combs in our case, rather than proper hand carders – I’m too tight to be paying more than five times the price for proper hand carders!)
- Several layers of the fleece were placed on either side of the circular template (or resist) and after each layer, the fleece was ‘locked’ in place by rubbing the fleece with soap and water over a net that secures the fleece
- The circular tortilla wrap looking thingy was then rubbed some more with the olive oil soap and water (or rolled within sushi mats) until the fleece had all locked together and was now fairly firm
- A hole was made in the now pretty solid fleece and gradually ‘worked’ until it came larger and the template (resist) was then removed
- At this point, it was looking more like a hollowed out vessel and was subsequently boshed about a bit to further ‘felt’ the fleece
- Voila – a fab looking vase/vessel!
Val’s going to be running another felting workshop on the 18th July, this time the lucky visitors will be making a felt landscape picture inspired by the beautiful surroundings… click here to find out more and book on if you too want to do something just a little bit different!